Gamifying Fear: Vr Exposure Therapy Shown To Be Effective At Treating Severe Phobias

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Girl using virtual reality goggles watching spider. Photo: Donald Iain Smith/Gett Images

By Cassidy Ward, SyFy

In the 2007 horror film House of Fears (now streaming on Peacock!), a group of teenagers enters the titular haunted house the night before it is set to open. Once inside, they encounter a grisly set of horrors leaving some of them dead and others terrified. For many, haunted houses are a fun way to intentionally trigger a fear response. For others, fear is something they live with on a daily basis and it’s anything but fun.

Roughly 8% of adults report a severe fear of flying; between 3 and 15% endure a fear of spiders; and between 3 and 6% have a fear of heights. Taken together, along with folks who have a fear of needles, dogs, or any number of other life-altering phobias, there’s a good chance you know someone who is living with a fear serious enough to impact their lives. You might even have such a phobia yourself.

There are, thankfully, a number of treatments a person can undergo in order to cope with a debilitating phobia. However, those treatments often require traveling someplace else and having access to medical care, something which isn’t always available or possible. With that in mind, scientists from the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago have investigated the use of virtual reality to remotely treat severe phobias with digital exposure therapy. Their findings were published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

Prior studies into the efficacy of virtual reality for the treatment of phobias were reliant on high-end VR rigs which can be expensive and difficult to acquire for the average patient. They also focused on specific phobias. The team at the University of Otago wanted something that could reach a higher number of patients, both in terms of content and access to equipment.

They used oVRcome, a widely available smartphone app anyone can download from their phone’s app store. The app has virtual reality content related to a number of common phobias in addition to the five listed above. Moreover, because it runs on your smartphone, it can be experienced using any number of affordable VR headsets which your phone slides into.

Participants enter in their phobias and their severity on a scale and are presented with a series of virtual experiences designed to gently and progressively expose the user to their fear. The study involved 129 people between the ages of 18 and 64, all of which reported all five of the target phobias. They used oVRcome over the course of six weeks with weekly emailed questionnaires measuring their progress. Participants also had access to a clinical psychologist in the event that they experienced any adverse effects from the study.

Participants were given a baseline score measuring the severity of their phobia and were measured again at a follow up 12 weeks after the start of the program. At baseline, participants averaged a score of 28 out of 40, indicating moderate to severe symptoms. By the end of the trial, the average score was down to 7, indicating minimal symptoms. Some participants even indicated they had overcome their phobia to the extent that they felt comfortable booking a flight, scheduling a medical procedure involving needles, or capturing and releasing a spider from their home, something they weren’t comfortable doing at the start.

Part of what makes the software so effective is the diversity of programming available and the ability for an individual to tailor their experiences based on their own unique experience. Additionally, exposure therapy is coupled with additional virtual modules including relaxation, mindfulness, cognitive techniques, and psychoeducation.

Click here to read the full article on SyFy.

The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual with a Disability

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A woman in a wheelchair accepting a pen and paper from a fellow employee

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which, among many other things, makes it illegal to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability.

If you’re looking to go into a new job or simply want to know your rights, here is how the ADA protects you in the workplace.

Are You Protected by the ADA?

If you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, the ADA protects you from job discrimination on the basis of your disability. Under the ADA, you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA also protects you if you have a history of such a disability, or if an employer believes that you have such a disability, even if you don’t.

To be protected under the ADA, you must have a record of, or be regarded as having a substantial, as opposed to a minor, impairment. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning or working.

If you have a disability, you must also be qualified to perform the essential functions or duties of a job, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be protected from job discrimination by the ADA. This means two things. First, you must satisfy the employer’s requirements for the job, such as education, employment experience, skills or licenses. Second, you must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Essential functions are the fundamental job duties that you must be able to perform on your own or with the help of a reasonable accommodation. An employer cannot refuse to hire you because your disability prevents you from performing duties that are not essential to the job.

What Employment Practices are Covered?

The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in all employment practices such as:

  • Recruitment
  • Firing
  • Hiring
  • Training
  • Job Assignments
  • Promotions
  • Pay
  • Benefits
  • Lay Off
  • Leave
  • All employee-related activities.

It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against you for asserting your rights under the ADA. The Act also protects you if you are a victim of discrimination because of your family, business, social or other relationship or association with an individual with a disability.

What is Reasonable Accommodation?

Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. For example, reasonable accommodation may include:

  • providing or modifying equipment or devices
  • job restructuring
  • part-time or modified work schedules
  • reassignment to a vacant position
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies
  • providing readers and interpreters
  • making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities

An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship — that is, that it would require significant difficulty or expense. The ADA also requires that the employer provide the accommodation unless to do so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. If the cost of providing the needed accommodation would be an undue hardship, the employee must be given the choice of providing the accommodation or paying for the portion of the accommodation that causes the undue hardship.

Can an Employer Require Medical Examinations or Ask Questions About a Disability?

If you are applying for a job, an employer cannot ask you if you are disabled or ask about the nature or severity of your disability. An employer can ask if you can perform the duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. An employer can also ask you to describe or to demonstrate how, with or without reasonable accommodation, you will perform the duties of the job.

An employer cannot require you to take a medical examination before you are offered a job. Following a job offer, an employer can condition the offer on your passing a required medical examination, but only if all entering employees for that job category have to take the examination. However, an employer cannot reject you because of information about your disability revealed by the medical examination, unless the reasons for rejection are job-related and necessary for the conduct of the employer’s business. The employer cannot refuse to hire you because of your disability if you can perform the essential functions of the job with an accommodation.

Once you have been hired and started work, your employer cannot require that you take a medical examination or ask questions about your disability unless they are related to your job and necessary for the conduct of your employer’s business. Your employer may conduct voluntary medical examinations that are part of an employee health program, and may provide medical information required by State workers’ compensation laws to the agencies that administer such laws.

The results of all medical examinations must be kept confidential, and maintained in separate medical files.

What Do I Do If I Think That I’m Being Discriminated Against?

If you think you have been discriminated against in employment on the basis of disability after July 26, 1992, you should contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A charge of discrimination generally must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. You may have up to 300 days to file a charge if there is a State or local law that provides relief for discrimination on the basis of disability. However, to protect your rights, it is best to contact EEOC promptly if discrimination is suspected.

You may file a charge of discrimination on the basis of disability by contacting any EEOC field office, located in cities throughout the United States. If you have been discriminated against, you are entitled to a remedy that will place you in the position you would have been in if the discrimination had never occurred. You may be entitled to hiring, promotion, reinstatement, back pay, or reasonable accommodation, including reassignment. You may also be entitled to attorney’s fees.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The Facts, Stats and Impacts of Diabetes

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man holding diabetes app on his smartphone

Chances are, you know someone with diabetes. It may be a friend, a family member or even you, so learn about the facts, stats and impacts of diabetes.

Today, the number of people with diabetes is higher than it has ever been. And it’s not just your grandparents you have to worry about. People are developing diabetes at younger ages and higher rates. But the more you know, the more you can do about preventing, delaying or lessening the harmful effects of diabetes.

The Facts

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most people’s bodies naturally produce the hormone insulin, which helps convert sugars into energy. Diabetes causes the body to either not make insulin or not use it well, causing blood sugar to rise. High blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems.

With type 1 diabetes, the body can’t make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t use insulin well. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes.

With prediabetes, the body may not be able to fully use insulin, or it may not make enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, so levels are higher than normal — but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The Stats

The National Diabetes Statistics Report provides information on the prevalence (existing cases) and incidence (new cases) of diabetes and prediabetes, risk factors for health complications from diabetes and diabetes-related deaths and costs.

Key findings include:

  • 37.3 million Americans — about 1 in 10 — have diabetes.
    • About 1 in 5 people with diabetes don’t know they have it.
  • 96 million American adults — more than 1 in 3 — have prediabetes.
    • More than 8 in 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
  • In 2019, about 1.4 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed.
  • For people aged 10 to 19 years, new cases of type 2 diabetes increased for all racial and ethnic minority groups, especially Black teens.
  • For adults with diagnosed diabetes:
    • 69% had high blood pressure, and 44% had high cholesterol.
    • 39% had chronic kidney disease, and 12% reported having vision impairment or blindness.
    • Diabetes was highest among Black and Hispanic/Latino adults, in both men and women.

The Impacts

Diabetes and diabetes-related health complications can be serious and costly. The seventh leading cause of death in the United States, diabetes costs a total estimated $327 billion in medical costs and lost work and wages. In fact, people with diagnosed diabetes have more than twice the average medical costs.

Though there is no cure for diabetes, there are things you can do to manage it and its health complications. And if you have prediabetes, there are things you can do to help prevent it from becoming type 2 diabetes.

Source: CDC

Disaster Preparedness for Individuals with Disabilities

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Businessman in wheelchair gives thumbs up to camera

Disability intersects every demographic group—there are people with disabilities of all ages, races, genders or national origin. And, disabilities can impact a person in a variety of ways—both visible and invisible. For people with disabilities and their families, it is important to consider individual circumstances and needs to effectively prepare for emergencies and disasters.

Make a Plan

In the event of a disaster, could you make it on your own for several days? After a disaster you may not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore. It’s crucial to plan for your daily needs and know what you would do if they become limited or unavailable. Additional planning steps include:

  • Create a support network of people who can help you in a disaster. Keep a contact list in a watertight container in your emergency kit or on your electronic devices.
  • Inform your support network where you keep your emergency supplies. You may want to consider giving a trusted member a key to your house or apartment.
  • Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting around during or after disaster. Check with local transit providers as well as with your emergency management agency to identify appropriate accessible options.
  • Many city and county emergency management agencies maintain voluntary registries for people with disabilities to self-identify in order to receive targeted assistance during emergencies and disasters. Contact your local emergency management office to find out more.
  • If you are on dialysis or other life-sustaining medical treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility that can help you.
  • If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about what you may be able to do to keep it running during a power outage. You can also ask your power provider to put you on a list for priority power restoration.
  • About half of all Americans take a prescription medicine every day. An emergency can make it difficult for them to refill their prescription or to find an open pharmacy. Organize and protect your prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamins to prepare for an emergency.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets. Also add pertinent medical information to your electronic devices.
  • If you have a communication disability, consider carrying printed cards or storing information on your devices to inform first responders and others how to communicate with you.
  • If you use assistive technologies, plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if lost or destroyed.
  • Locate and access your electronic health records from a variety of sources by using the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ online tool.
  • Plan for children and adults who may have difficulty in unfamiliar or chaotic environments. Consider your service or support animal or pets and plan for food, water and supplies. If you need to evacuate, you’ll need to know whether your shelter allows pets or not, since some shelters only allow service or support animals.
  • Keep a list of the nearest medical facilities, local hospitals and nearest transportation.

Get Your Benefits Electronically

A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is an easy way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. If you get federal benefits you can sign up by calling 800-333-1795 or sign up online.
  • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks. Call toll-free at 877-212-9991 or sign up online.

Build a Kit

In addition to having your basic survival supplies, an emergency kit should have items to meet your individual needs in various emergencies. Consider the items you use every day and which ones you may need to add to your kit. While these items will differ depending on your day-to- day needs, general items to keep in mind include:

  • Several day’s supply of prescription medication
  • A list of all medications, dosage and any allergies
  • Extra eyeglasses, contacts, hearing aids and batteries
  • A backup supply of oxygen
  • A list of the style and serial number of medical devices (include special instructions for operating your equipment if needed)
  • Copies of insurance and Medicare cards
  • Contact information for doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt
  • Pet food, extra water, collar with ID tag, medical records and other supplies for your service or support animal

Tips for Medications

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how you can create an emergency supply of medicines.
  • Keep a list of your prescription medicines. Include information about your diagnosis, dosage, frequency, medical supply needs and allergies.
  • Store extra nonprescription drugs, like pain and fever relievers, antihistamines and antidiarrheal medicines.
  • Have a cooler and chemical ice packs available to chill medicines that need to be refrigerated.

For more information on how to best be prepared in the event of a disaster, visit https://www.ready.gov/disability#kit

Source: Ready.gov

Job Hunting & Mental Health

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a calendar on a desk reads new job?

By Michele Hellebuyck

Employment can have a positive effect on mental health as it offers the opportunity to use your skills and talents while boosting self-confidence. But you may have questions and concerns about finding employment as you deal with a mental health condition. Searching for a job can be a stressful and emotionally draining process, which can worsen symptoms of mental health conditions.

You may also have concerns about gaps in your employment history or feel unsure about your experience or your need to request reasonable accommodations. Don’t give up! You can figure out strategies to work around barriers, often with help from friends, family, mentors and employment specialists. Here are some tips that may help you along the way!

  1. Know your strengths and talents. Seek jobs where you feel you can excel and bring something to the table. Having a job where you can apply your skills and talents can boost your confidence and self-esteem, and doing something that is meaningful can offer a sense of stability and satisfaction. You may not find a job in your field of interest but knowing your strengths and talents can help you find a job where you have the capabilities to perform well.
  2. Voluntary questions are just that—voluntary. Applications often include voluntary questions about whether you have a disability (including mental health conditions). You may feel the urge to be honest because it feels uncomfortable to hide the truth, but you may also wonder how stigma about mental illness may affect your application. Whether you choose to disclose anything may change with every application. That is okay, you are not obligated to do so. Most of the application is about what you can, and will, offer as an employee.
  3. Tackle the process one step at time. Applying for jobs can seem overwhelming. The process is time consuming, interviews can be nerve-wracking, and rejections are difficult to experience. For individuals experiencing a mental health condition, this can take an emotional and psychological toll. Try to create a realistic plan to find and transition to work. For example, spend one day looking through job postings and another day applying to the jobs you have selected. Also, do not forget to practice self-care, identify the coping skills that fit your needs, and seek support throughout the whole process. This can be an especially chaotic time. It is important to identify resources that will keep you grounded as you move forward.

Mental health conditions affect different people in various ways. Some people may never stop working; others find that their condition interrupts their career; and still others may be able to do only limited work. As people recover from a mental health condition, they also face varied challenges in relation to work. Some people find that they are able, with minor accommodations, to work in the same way they did before. Others may have to re-enter work gradually.

No matter your situation and no matter the hurdles you face, hold on to your goals for yourself and keep striving to incorporate meaningful activity into your life. In the past, people with mental illness were often discouraged from working, but today we understand that work is not only a possibility, but also it can often play a vital role in recovery.

Understanding how work may have an effect on your mental health, planning your job search, and finding support as you look for and transition to work are all important parts of maintaining your emotional wellbeing as a jobseeker and an employee.

Source: Ticket to Work

5 Questions That Help Define The Outlines Of Disability Advocacy

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graphic of people with disabilities working on laptops

What is the shape of disability activism? There is a lot of natural variation in the large and diverse disabled population, and many different opinions among the smaller core of committed disability activists.

But there are some beliefs, positions, and mindsets that shape the community of individuals and organizations loosely referred to as “Disability Activism.” They aren’t exactly boundaries or litmus tests. They are more like magnets that draw disability advocates in certain directions. What are these key positions? How do we identify them?

Here are five questions that go a long way towards defining disability activism as more than a set of moods and activities, but rather a movement with both diversity and a distinct direction.

Is disability mainly a medical or a social experience?

The disability experience has two main aspects. First, there are people’s own mental and physical conditions, practical impairments, pain, discomfort, illness, and lack or loss of functioning. These form the conventional components of disability itself. It is essentially a person experience, and medically based.

Then there are the barriers people encounter that are related to their disabilities, but come from the outside. This can include lack of physical, sensory, or mental access to essential spaces, processes, goods, and services – and discrimination by individuals, laws, institutions, and practices. These are the social forces that make disability so much more than a purely personal and medical experience.

These two aspects of disability have for some time been referred to as the “Medical” and “Social” models of disability. Most disabled people experience elements of both. But whichever comes to be your dominant concern is both affected by and then further shapes how much you look to yourself for a better life and how much you look to outside people and social forces.

Modern disability activism is mostly based in the Social Model of disability. It is more concerned with collective action to make society more accepting, equitable, and accessible, and focused much less on funding for medical research or development of new treatments and therapies. This less a matter of right or wrong, than it is a difference in focus. But it’s enough of a difference to give disability activism a noticeably different tone, flavor, and direction than, say, fundraising for medical research, or treatment of disabling conditions. Broadly speaking, disability activism seeks to fix society’s ableism, not fix disabled people’s disabilities. That gives disability activism it’s most essential and distinct shape and dimension.

Read the full article at Forbes.

Simple Accommodations Lead to Workplace Success

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Ray Muro, PRIDE Industries employee, shows his workplace accomations in the company warehouse

Studies show that companies with a diverse and inclusive workforce benefit from greater employee retention and higher productivity rates. But some people think that accommodations are always expensive and complicated.

With just a bit of imagination and effort, any company can attract, accommodate, and retain highly productive employees.

At PRIDE, our 50 years of experience prove that accommodations don’t have to be costly or complex. Ray Muro is one example of an accomplished employee. Blind since childhood, Ray has worked as a Stock Clerk in the Self-Help shop at U.S. Army Post Fort Bliss in El Paso. Among his many duties, Ray manages the store’s inventory, registers new customers, and organizes the supplies.

Ray is one of the shop’s most productive employees, consistently earning high praise from customers and fellow employees alike. The reasons for his success are no secret—Ray has arranged his work environment to accommodate his needs. With PRIDE’s support, Ray has used a few inexpensive tools and modifications to set himself up for success.

Before joining PRIDE, Ray earned an Associate degree in Human Services and Liberal Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies from the University of Texas, El Paso. Despite his qualifications and enthusiasm, Ray could not find a permanent job due to misconceptions about his disabilities.

Ray was born with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), an eye disease common in premature babies. It causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina and can lead to blindness, as it did with Ray, who has been blind since childhood. Working-age adults with significant vision loss have a 30% employment rate.

PRIDE IndustriesHired as a Stock Clerk in the Self-Help shop, Ray manages the inventory of parts such as paint or batteries, registers customers into the database, and categorizes new supplies. To master his position and make it easier for him to navigate the shop, Ray spent two weeks labeling everything with braille stickers to serve customers faster.

“When I attended college, I didn’t have access to braille books, so I had to use speech technology or a reader,” said Ray. “But braille often works better. It’s such a powerful tool to help people who are blind navigate the visual world.”

READ MORE… https://prideindustries.org/blog/becoming-the-shop-expert-rays-story/

Cracking the code: Working together to engage and empower female technologists at Bloomberg

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diverse women working on laptop

To create products that serve increasingly diverse customers and solve a wider range of social problems, technology companies need women engineers. However, only 25 percent of math and computer science jobs in the United States are filled by women, and one-third of women in the U.S. and China quit these jobs mid-career due to factors like social isolation, a lack of access to creative technical roles and difficulty advancing to leadership positions.

At Bloomberg, we’ve established a company culture that supports gender equality in a multitude of ways – from company-wide Diversity & Inclusion business plans to a newly expanded family leave policy. But we know that’s not enough. In recent years, we’ve adopted a system-wide approach to increasing the number of women in technical roles, taking steps to remove barriers to advancement both inside our organization and beyond Bloomberg, supporting female talent from middle school through mid-career.

While the number of women in technical jobs at Bloomberg is growing, we’re committed to making progress faster and completing all the steps needed to solve the equation. Here are some of the ways we’re tackling this important deficit – and making quantifiable change.

Early engagement

Bloomberg supports organizations that help increase women’s participation in STEM and financial technology, exposing students to various career options through Bloomberg Startup and encouraging our female engineers to engage with the next generation of talent.

Collaboration, creativity, and a love of problem-solving drew Chelsea Ohh to the field of engineering. Now she works at Bloomberg as a software engineer team lead, helping to provide critical information to financial decision makers across the globe.

Recruitment

We target our entry-level engineering recruiting efforts at colleges that have achieved or are focused on gender parity in their STEM classes. And because not all the best talent come from the same schools or have the same experiences, Bloomberg actively seeks women engineers with non-traditional backgrounds or career paths.

Talent development

Women engineers can sharpen their technical skills through open courses, on-site training sessions, and business hackathons held throughout the year. Bloomberg is committed to inspiring our female employees, eliminating barriers like impostor syndrome, and encouraging them to pursue opportunities in engineering.

Community & allies

To strengthen its network of female engineers, global BWIT (Bloomberg Women in Technology) chapters organize more than 150 events, mentoring sessions, and meet-ups a year. The community also engages male allies and advocates, sharing strategies to help them support their female colleagues.

Click here to read the full article on Bloomberg.

Disability:IN 2022: “Our Biggest Yet!”

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Disability:IN

This year’s conference, held in Dallas, Texas, was the first in-person event since 2019 and was home of the largest number of attendees in the conference’s history. Disability:IN said of this year’s event:

“The Disability:IN Global Conference gets larger each year, and 2022 is our biggest yet!

We finally got to connect with old friends and new colleagues in-person in Dallas after two years of virtual programming. And what a turnout – we had 4,000 attendees (virtual and in-person) from 32 countries.”

As always, specific tracks and presentations were available both virtually and in-person that focused on important issues such as inclusive businesses, supplier diversity, ERG/BRG, accessibility, inclusive marketing, ESG investing and much more. The event also featured not one, but two very prominent guests in the disability communities who further spoke on the importance of inclusion in their specific industries.

Lachi, a visually-impaired musician and one of the biggest advocates for inclusion in the music industry, was in attendance along with award-winning actress and one of the main stars of this year’s Oscar winning film, CODA, Marlee Matlin.

The 2022 Disability:IN Inclusion Award winners were also announced, which recognizes visionary brands and individuals that are advancing disability inclusion. Company honors were awarded for Employer of the Year, Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses, Supplier of the Year, Marketplace Innovator of the Year and Affiliate of the Year. The individual honors were as follows:

John D. Kemp Leadership Award: Recognizes an individual who has developed or influenced the development of significant company disability employment programs and/or services that resulted in measurable, tangible and positive outcomes that dramatically improved disability employment opportunities. Awarded to: Rodney O. Martin Jr: Chairman and CEO to Voya Financial

The NextGen Alum of the Year: Recognizes an alumnus who has gone above and beyond after participating in Disability: IN’s NextGen Leader Initiatives. This alumnus has not only demonstrated corporate leadership, but has also paid it forward for future NextGen Leaders. Awarded to: Meenakshi Das, Microsoft

The ERG/BRG Executive Sponsor of the Year Award: Recognizes an executive sponsor of a company’s disability ERG/BRG who has had a measurable impact on disability inclusion at the company and champions disability inclusion across the enterprise. Awarded to: Lisa Bickel and Joshua Pascoe, Honeywell

The Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year: Recognizes a procurement champion who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the utilization and growth of disability- owned businesses, and also provided exceptional support for certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBEs), Veteran- Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (SDVDOBEs).
Awarded to: Mary Brougher

Disability:IN conference collage of winners

This year, Disability:IN is renaming the Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award to the Mary Brougher Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award to commemorate the late disability rights leader. Brougher was a leading advocate for employment for youth and adults with disabilities and mental health advocacy.

Along with the panels and awards, Disability:IN is also a great opportunity for business networking, pitch challenges, job opportunities and much more. The Disability:IN Global Conference is the premier resource for everything you need toknow on the importance and implementation of disability inclusive practices in every workspace. If you missed out on this year’s conference, mark your calendars for next year’s event happening on July 10-13, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.

Strength Training May Benefit Gross Motor Function in Children With Cerebral Palsy

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Strength Training May Benefit Gross Motor Function in Children With Cerebral Palsy

By Brandon May, Neurology Advisor

Strength training is associated with improvements in muscle strength, gait speed, balance, and gross motor function in children and adolescents with spastic cerebral palsy, according to study results published in Clinical Rehabilitation.

Prior research on the effects of physical training on improving functional mobility and gross motor skills has been mixed. For example, some studies have found that with muscle strengthening, muscle strength improves but not function. Other studies have reported improvement in motor activity and functions such as gait. The objective of the current study was to review the most recent data on the effect of strength training on function, activity, and participation in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.

The meta-analysis included 27 randomized controlled trials which evaluated muscle strength training in children, adolescents, and young adults (age range, 3-22 years) with spastic cerebral palsy. In the pooled cohort of 873 patients, a total of 452 patients underwent strength training, while the remaining patients participated in a different physical therapy technique or were assigned to a control group with no physical therapy.

Researchers excluded 3 studies, yielding 24 studies in the meta-analysis. According to the researchers, there were significant standardized mean differences that were in favor of the strength training techniques vs other physical therapy techniques or control in terms of improvements in muscle strength at the knee flexors, muscle strength at the knee extensor, muscle strength at the plantar flexors, maximum resistance, balance, gait speed, Gross Motor Function Measure (global, D and E dimension), as well as spasticity.

A limitation of this meta-analysis, according to the researchers, was the high levels of moderate risk and high risk of bias among analyzed studies. Additionally, the studies in the meta-analysis did not assess the long-term effect of muscle strength training in this population. Given this limitation, the investigators noted that children with cerebral palsy should perform “high-intensity strength training regularly to maintain and ideally accumulate benefits over time.”

Click here to read the full article on Neurology Advisor.

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Upcoming Events

  1. The Arc National Convention – 2022
    November 10, 2022 - December 12, 2022
  2. Elder Customers –Treating Customers with Empathy–Virtual Event
    December 14, 2022
  3. CSUN 38th Annual Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023
  4. CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023
  5. Disability Policy Seminar
    March 20, 2023 - May 22, 2023

Upcoming Events

  1. The Arc National Convention – 2022
    November 10, 2022 - December 12, 2022
  2. Elder Customers –Treating Customers with Empathy–Virtual Event
    December 14, 2022
  3. CSUN 38th Annual Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023
  4. CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023
  5. Disability Policy Seminar
    March 20, 2023 - May 22, 2023